Gujarat's move to cancel excess NFSA ration cards set to rob 5 lakh tribals of right to food
While the Centre's National Food Security Act envisages providing free rations to low-income families, the Gujarat government has ordered the cancellation of the excess cards without any survey.
Published: 01st April 2023 02:58 PM | Last Updated: 01st April 2023 05:08 PM | A+A A-
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government's order to cancel excess National Food Security Act (NFSA) ration cards without conducting an economic survey will deprive over five lakh members of 80,000-plus tribal families of their right to food, according to people in the know.
The decision comes at a time when the Government of India under the NFSA has decided to provide free rations to 81.35 crore people belonging to low-income families for a year.
The Gujarat government is saying there are more ration cards than residents in many areas and hence it has started the process of cancelling the ration cards of 83,556 families spread across 11 districts and more than 30 talukas. The majority of tribal families are concentrated in these talukas and districts, according to the Congress party.
Vansda, a tribal populated area, is the most affected by the government's decision.
Vansda taluka Deputy Collector (Mamalatdar) MS Vasava told The New Indian Express, "We have received a circular issued by the government. So, the ration cards are being cancelled. I can't say anything more on the matter."
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A ration shopkeeper, who requested anonymity, said, "The government's decision will primarily affect tribal families, as only 3600 families in Vansda taluka will be affected. The important thing to remember is that the ration card is issued by the government and they have the authority to cancel it. But they are forcing shopkeepers like us to do so."
Vansada Congress MLA Anant Patel said, "Most of the people in the tribal areas are very poor as they cannot earn their daily meal by themselves, and without any kind of circular, any kind of economic survey. Many ration cards of old age people, disabled, women, and widows have been cancelled in this cancellation process."
"Ration cards for 217 families in Wangan village, Vansda taluka, where all tribal families live, have been cancelled. We will hold a rally in the entire tribal area in the coming days, as well as write a letter to the Chief Minister. If the government does not reverse its decision, we will stage a movement throughout Gujarat," he further said
According to data, 7470 Narmada district ration cards, 7595 Dang district ration cards, and 5,947 Tapi district ration cards have been cancelled.
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In addition, the government has also ordered the cancellation of NFSA ration cards in the following fully tribal areas: 3607 in Vansda taluka, 1763 in Kawant, 3267 in Jhalod, 5227 in Ghoghamba, 4462 in Morwahdf, 1080 in Balasinore, and 3806 in Posina.
There are also families in other areas and their total number adds up to 83556.